Marketing home services is the new support industry for the decade ahead. Since home care and home healthcare are and will be two of the biggest growth industries during the coming decade ('02-'12), it is anticipated that a host of new entrants will come into the marketplace, vying for their position and using specialized home-services marketing techniques to displace competitors.
According to the U.S. Dept of Labor's Fastest Growing Occupations, the number of home health aides will increase 249,000 (48%) and personal home care will increase 246,000 (40%). Most of this is obviously attributable to the the vast increase in Baby-Boomers that will be hitting the senior age and requiring services.
Because of low barriers to entry, these areas of service are one of the few fast-growth industries that are available to new entrepreneurs. Already, many businesses that were started as a part-time endeavor have become enormous companies that employ hundreds or thousands. Yet the field is still not even close to being full.
Currently, the demand for home care services is still growing and will for the next 10 years or so. But as with any field where there is an excessive demand, the vacuum will be filled with small businesses. There comes a point where the market is saturated with suppliers and those who have never seen marketing as a necessity, will either change their ways or be leveraged out by those who have expansion in mind.
Marketing is how new industry entrants will obtain their position in the marketplace. While there will always be a place for mom and pop businesses, these will increasingly find themselves under market pressure.
Marketing takes a different turn with home care businesses. With many businesses, an owner can expect to see a substantial performance based on name recognition or "branding". Though marketing the home care services business does involve some branding, there are several big differences between these and other business types.
Marketing home care services becomes especially critical because there is little attention paid to this business type by the consumers until it actually appeals to their lifestyle. Adult children often don't even start to consider such services until something happens where the services become necessary.
Even then, which business name will they choose? Home Care This (Company A), Home Care That (Company B), Elder Care Something (Company C), and Elder Care Something Else (Company D) are all names that sound vaguely familiar but with which nobody has had any level of experience.
Marketing such companies requires a high degree of discipline, an understanding that marketing and branding don't just happen, and a dedication aimed at differentiation.
Marketing is all about distinguishing yourself from the hordes of businesses that perform remarkably similar services. Marketing is about being where the people are, with the message they want to hear, having the products, pricing, and customer service that show you mean business. But most of all marketing means differentiating yourself in a way that when the time comes, your company name rises to the top as the first choice on the list of who to do business with.